A group calling itself Concerned Lotto Agents Association of Ghana (CLAAG) is up against the National Lottery Authority (NLA) protesting moves to impose registration charges on lotto operators.
They also describe as “suicidal” the setting up of 11 lotto courts to address problems confronting the operations of lottery in the country.
The group comprising lotto writers, operators and agents popularly known as ‘Banker-to-Banker’ converged at the Kumasi Cultural Center to register their displeasure at what they term as moves to deprive them of their source of income.
Whilst the National Lottery Authority (NLA) wants a clampdown on activities of illegal lottery operators, the agents want their operations regularized.
Director-General of NLA Kofi Osei-Ameyaw has announced that a lotto taskforce will arrest and prosecute banker-to-banker operators at the various lotto courts established across the country.
But the lotto agents are unhappy the NLA is unwilling to discuss proposals to streamline activities in the industry.
Executive Secretary of CLAAG Kwaku Duah-Tawiah says it is unacceptable for operators to be charged GH¢100 as registration to operate under the NLA.
Mr. Duah-Tawiah says the current practice of NLA acting as a player, regulator and arbiter in the lotto business should be reviewed to save an industry that employs more than one million people.
The group is seeking an amendment of the National Lottery Act 722 of 2006 to allow private participation in the lotto industry.
“Failure for the government to properly regulate the industry and make it more viable [and] productive and revenue earning to the state has not been done, because there are certain individuals who have politicized it and want to own lottery for themselves,” he claimed.
The private lotto operators claim acrimonies in the lotto industry arise only when the NPP is in power.
Members, however, posit that government could earn GH¢300million per annum from private lottery if the law is amended to regularize their activities.